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Education Voices: Safe Routes to School are Elusive in Oakland

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Kahmaria Adams, 15, listens to gospel music on her commute to school through the harrowing streets of East Oakland. She takes two city buses to get from home to Piedmont High School. She’s got the hour-long routine down, but there’s one stretch of the bus ride that gets to her.

“I always have the feeling that something will happen. On the bus I feel like I need to stay alert and watch out for troublesome people around me,” she said.

Life in “Deep East” Oakland is dangerous for anybody. In a city that FBI data ranks as having the third-highest violent crime rate in the nation, this neighborhood has the highest incidence of homicide, gunshots and forced prostitution, according to City of Oakland crime reports.

Read the rest of the story.

Also, see these related stories written by student reporters that I trained:

Read  the first story in this package: Violence confronts students in Oakland 

This story and the entire Education Voices series were made possible through the support of The California Endowment. Our student reporters for this series are participants in programs at The East Oakland Youth Development Center in East Oakland. Many thanks to the Endowment and the Center for the support of this program, and to our wonderful coaches, trainers and student reporters.

Follow the entire series here: http://oaklandlocal.com/?s=saferoutes

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Education Voices: Violence Confronts Students in Oakland

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Shots were fired through the walls of Castlemont High School by a drive-by shooter in April, causing students to dive under their desks for safety, and school administrators to order a lockdown. A few weeks later, Castlemont students mourned the Sunday night murder of a beloved classmate, Olajuwon Clayborn, who was shot down in front of his home in East Oakland. Across town that same night, 19-year-old Darvel McGillberry, popular at his former McClymonds High School, was shot and killed.

In “Deep East,” at Brookfield Elementary School, three adults have been held up at gunpoint outside the school in recent months: a parent, a school custodian and the husband of a teacher. “We work in a war zone,” said first grade teacher Tammie Adams, who no longer wears her wedding ring to school to avoid being a robbery target.

Read the rest of this story.

Also, see these related stories written by student reporters that I trained:

Read  the second story in this package: Safe routes to schools: Elusive in Oakland

This story and the entire Education Voices series were made possible through the support of The California Endowment. Our student reporters for this series are participants in programs at The East Oakland Youth Development Center in East Oakland. Many thanks to the Endowment and the Center for the support of this program, and to our wonderful coaches, trainers and student reporters.

Follow the entire series here: http://oaklandlocal.com/?s=saferoutes


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The community acupuncture frontier

With more people losing their jobs and fewer people spending like they did in the past, community acupuncture has become the new frontier for the alternative health industry.

Across the United States, hundreds of community acupuncture clinics have sprung up in the last few years. According to Karen Grosskreutz, membership coordinator for the newly established POCA COOP, every week, six new clinics register as POCA members. Today, 170 clinics are registered, although Grosskreutz said she believes that the actual working number is closer to 300. This includes clinics that were part of COPA’s predecessor, the Community Acupuncture Network.

In Oakland, six clinics offer the group setting, sliding scale acupuncture known for it’s reliance on hand, head and feet treatment points. Compare that to 10 clinics in Seattle and five clinics in Portland’s 97213 zip code alone.

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Read the Oakland Local story.


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Starline social club

If you think Oakland could use a curated Casablanca-esque social club, you might soon see your dreams come true.

Nestled between an overpass, an oil change shop and a single residency hotel, the former Starline supply store at 645 West Grand Ave., is becoming a tastemaker nexus under the management of three Oakland transplants and their artists network.

Inspired by art murmur and the West Oakland art scene, Troy Bayless, Adam Hatch and Sam Strand envision a multi-use venue that integrates artist work spaces and a bar in the building’s first floor with a ballroom, a restaurant and residencies in the building’s second floor. Combined, they plan for an arts-based curated social club.
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Notes from the scene: protestors claim victory in port shutdown

The West Oakland BART station parking lot was packed with protesters of all ages at the shockingly early-morning hour of 5:30 am.

Chants of “We are the 99%” and “Whose Port? Our Port!” became the rally cry as Occupy Oakland moved into the streets and headed for the Port of Oakland in what became an officially “successful” morning-shift port-shutdown.

The crowd of more than 1,500 people moved quickly down the wide street to the port, with police cars leading the charge. As we arrived to the port, organizers began calling for 45-50 people to take over each terminal. Accordingly, a group would break off to seal an entrance as the rest surged onward.
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Mosaicos transforman barrios

LLENAN DE COLORIDOS MOSAICOS LAS CALLES – Algunas calles grises de Oakland, California más conocidas por el grafiti y los robos, se están llenando de colores, gracias al trabajo de un grupo de artistas y cientos de voluntarios. Estos activistas culturales se proponen cambiar el paisaje urbano creando murales de mosaicos en las paredes de espacios públicos, en maceteros y en contenedores de basura. Irene Florez platicó con algunos de los artistas detrás del proyecto, y nos entrega este reportaje. Este reportaje es parte de la serie Raíces: historias sobre los artistas del pueblo.

ARTISTS SPRUCE UP STREETS WITH COLORFUL MOSAICS – Some gray streets of Oakland, California, known for graffiti and theft, are being filled now with color, thanks to the work of a group of artists and hundreds of volunteers. These cultural activists propose to change the urban landscape, creating mosaic murals on the walls of public spaces, flowerpots, and trashcans. Irene Florez spoke with some of the artists behind the project and has this story. This feature story is part of the Raíces series: stories about grassroots artists.

Hear and or read the rest of the story on Raices